I'm normally a vicous spam eradicator. Don't normally give them even a second glance. But something crept into my inbox today that made me think about a topic I speak about when coaching people on writing effective email: Write for the preview pane.
How are you?
I am ready to kill myself and eat my dog, if medicine prices here (URL omitted) are bad.
Look, the site and call me 1-800 if its wrong..
My dog and I are still alive :)
Most email readers have some kind of message preview feature, which shows the top portion of a message without the user's need to click on it. Yahoo and Google are implementing this feature within their mail clients as well.
This entire message fits into my Outlook preview pane. You don't have to click to open it to process the message. It tells a story, a ridiculous, absurd story, but it is a story. It has a call to action (what's with the partial 800 number?) and a conclusion -- all within four lines of copy.
What if you constructed your offers as compactly as this one?